Fish With ‘Human’ Teeth Caught in North Carolina Turns Attention on a Remarkable Species

A fish that has distinct teeth, like humans, has been caught by a fisherman in North Carolina.

A photo of the fish was shared on Facebook by Jennette’s Pier, a fishing destination in Nag’s Head, North Carolina, USA.

The animal was identified as a sheepshead fish (Archosargus probatocephalus), which has several rows of molars to crush prey, including their shells. Apparently, the fish has been so named due to its mouth looking like the mouth of a sheep.

The fish was reportedly caught by Nathan Martin, a regular on the pier.

The man said he had been hoping to catch a sheepshead fish when he came face-to-face with a “mouth full of teeth”.

“It’s a very good fight when you’re fighting on the line, it’s a really good catch, and it tastes very good,” he told McClatchy News.

Another sheepshead fish that wasn’t lucky enough to make it back into the water. Photo: Paul Rogers via Imgur

The post has caused quite a stir around the Internet and surprised many. 

“Is this where dentures come from?” commented one user.

“That fish has better teeth than me,” wrote another.

Some people would have wanted to see it being let back into the sea.

“Shame that all the person who is supposed to have caught it can think of killing it and eating the poor thing. Put it back in the water and let it live its life in peace – supposing it is even a real fish.”

There were some other people, too, who thought the image was manipulated. But the sheepshead fish is real and is actually quite commonly found in North and South America.

According to the Scientific American, “Sheepshead fish are a common North American marine species that span from Cape Cod and Massachusetts through to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Preferring coastal habitats around rock pilings, jetties, mangroves, reefs and piers, they can grow up to around 91 cm in length and weigh up to 9.6 kg. They have five to seven distinctive black, vertical bars running down their silvery bodies, which is why the sheepshead is also called the convict fish.”

Photo: Kevin Bryant, DMD

And indeed, it’s much nicer to see it where it belongs to, that is, in the water.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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